Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Piracy In Developing Countries Driven By High Prices

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the hmm-how-can-we-blame-the-terrists-for-that dept.

Piracy 235

langelgjm writes "The Social Science Research Council, an independent, non-profit organization, today released a major report on music, film and software piracy in developing economies. It's a product of three years of work, and the authors conclude that piracy is primarily driven by excessively high prices and that anti-piracy education and enforcement efforts have failed. Still, chief editor Joe Karaganis believes that businesses can survive in these high piracy environments. The report is free to readers in low-income countries, but behind a paywall for certain high-income countries, although the SSRC notes, 'For those who must have it for free anyway, you probably know where to look.'"

cancel ×

235 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Well no shit (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408918)

The average person in Cambodia earns one dollar a day. Some kids collect scrape metal and if they collect $0.25 worth of them, they can go to school the next day (they are not only happy about it, but work to get to school!). Do you really think they're going to spend it on entertainment than costs more than they make in a month?

I was visiting there last year and unsurprisingly they did have stores with pirated goods. The largest mall in Phnom Penh has full floor of tv shows, movies, games, applications, everything you can think of. Games and movies cost $1-2 while all seasons of The Simpsons cost $10, all neatly packed and everything. The other series with less dvd's cost even less of course, and this was inside a big mall and they probably added some extra to the price since I was foreigner (they didn't list prices but you had to ask). Maybe you can get them even cheaper from street vendors.

And while speaking of Cambodia, it's quite nice place to visit, not your usual holiday place. Even in the cities some of the streets are just sand and when you go out all the tuk tuk drivers come asking you where you want to go. If you want to go for a few beers and a pizza, the driver takes you there and waits for you while you do your stuff and drink beer, even if it takes long time. Then you just give them like $5 for being your driver the whole night, and they're happy since they're still getting a lot more than people usually. That's why there isn't any shortage of tuk tuk drivers either. And yeah, girl bars (or ladyboy bars if you prefer that) are open 24/7 and there's happy pizzas with special ingredient ;-)

Re:Well no shit (3, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409096)

So it isn't necessarily 'high prices' but prices that prices aren't adjusted to the developing country's standard of living?

Re:Well no shit (0)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409148)

They tried to do that (e.g. DVD region codes).

Re:Well no shit (4, Informative)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409330)

DVD region codes were meant to keep you from watching a movie that was unreleased in your territory (OH NOES!), not to charge poor people less.

Back in the 90s, I bought my CDs online from Amazon,CD Universe, CDNOW because it was (much) cheaper for me to pay the $6 shipping than walk to the store 5 blocks away and buy it there.

Re:Well no shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409370)

They tried to do that (e.g. DVD region codes).

Sorry but that's a big heaping steaming pile of bull ass fucking shit. To put that another way, it ain't true.

DVD region codes are not so DVDs can be priced for a region. If that was the deal they'd release a movie for all regions at the same time, just with different prices. They don't. They often wait months between releasing something for say the US and then releasing the same movie months later in Europe. They also do this so you can't give DVDs as gifts to your friends and family in another region. They want every person to have to buy their own copy.

You just don't know what you're talking about. They use regions because they want to maximize profit. Not because they want to make something available at a viable price to people in struggling nations.

They're profiteering assholes who take advantage each and every way they legally can. That's why so many people don't think twice about pirating. If you "steal" from your neighbor you feel remorse. If you "steal" from Satan you don't have any regrets.

Re:Well no shit (1)

Xeleema (453073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409864)

If you "steal" from your neighbor you feel remorse. If you "steal" from Satan you don't have any regrets.

Not where I live. If you're caught stealing from your neighbor, he's likely to shoot you.

Satan, on the other hand, has more than likely already attempted to sue you several times for "stealing" from him already.

Re:Well no shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409928)

I would have a problem if they were. I would refuse to pay $150 for Windows 7 in my area if people could buy it for $15 in 3rd world countries.
In this global age, imposing artificial price differences is wrong. If they can afford to sell something cheaply somewhere they can afford to do it everywhere.

Re:Well no shit (1)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410214)

In this global age, imposing artificial price differences is wrong. If they can afford to sell something cheaply somewhere they can afford to do it everywhere.

While I agree with your first sentance, your second one fails completely.

The whole reason they can "afford" to sell it cheaply in the third world countries is because it is being subsidized by the high prices in the higher income locations.

Equal pricing globally would probably turn that $150/$15 discrepancy into a mean price of something like $80. And then more people in the higher income area would buy it, but nobody in the third world country would. Overall the company selling the product sells about the same amount (maybe less) and gets less revenue for it. Not to mention the third world country misses out on the benefits -- unless of course they priate, which is what TFA is about anyway.

P.S. The price differences aren't artificial, they are (should be at least) based on market conditions. Think about real estate...same house in two different cities could be $100k vs. $650k for the same thing. Same house in a third world country might only be $30k, and would probably be considered a palace of the gods.

Re:Well no shit (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410460)

Think about real estate...same house in two different cities could be $100k vs. $650k for the same thing.

They're not the same thing. The difference is that if you lived in the $100k house you'd have to commute hours both ways to get to a job that could support the mortgage payments on a $650k house (and some people do in fact do this), or you'd have to basically live in hotels and only go home on weekends and holidays (some people do this too). You'd also miss out on a whole host of other advantages that come with living in a larger, more affluent city.

Granted the possibility of working online might make it possible to earn a salary like the guys living in $650k houses while living in a house that cost $100k while being, apart from the location, no different. However that's just because companies haven't yet figured out that telecommuting allows them to selectively price their employment, too. I mean, if you're a telecommuting employee who lives in a city where a nice house costs $100k, what makes you think that you should make the same salary as an employee who lives in a city where a house like yours would cost $650k? Any more than a guy living in a third-world country should have to pay the same amount for a DVD that we have to pay in the US? That logic works in either direction.

Re:Well no shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35410522)

like the guys living in $650k houses while living in a house that cost $100k

Are these guys able to be in two places at once? Bilocation: now that's a real talent!

Totally Unavailable (3, Interesting)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410006)

I live in Pemba, Mozambique where there is no place to buy legitimate DVDs. It doesn't exist.

The DVDs you can buy are cheap chinese rips on a disc in shrinkwrap with cardboard that advertises 24 MOVIES DVD9 BLURAY MPEG4 XVID H264. Really they're just highly compressed low resolution MPEG2 streams. There's typically 4 movies on a disk divided into 6 or so parts labeled a, b, c, d, etc.

I Don't buy movies here because there's no supply chain. I do buy on iTunes which permits me because I have a US credit card.

Re:Totally Unavailable (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410256)

You seem to be online. I bet if you really search you can find a place that sells DVDs on the Internet. Just sayin'.

Re:Well no shit (2)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410486)

In addition to it, these developing countries try to protect their local market and charge additional taxes for imports at their customs.

This list [wikipedia.org] shows United States nearly at the high end of the minimum wages list, consequently its citizens have higher acquisition capacity than any other in developing countries, yet prices come not only the same but sometimes higher to those countries. A simple wii game for example (although not first need) comes at US$100 (or higher) in certain countries where minimum wages are almost a third of the US minimum wages due to customs, taxes, etc. Yes, normally people will find better to pay higher for their Internet speed and just try to download as much as they can, or go around to your favorite corner vendor to get the burned copy on CD/DVD for 1/5th of the original price.

Re:Well no shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409466)

I was visiting there last year and unsurprisingly they did have stores with pirated goods.

We need to decide as a race if it's more important to feed people or make sure the top few hundred families can add another zero to their wealth.

Everything is political, including piracy. If the movie industry goes out of business tomorrow, nobody is going to starve to death. "John Galt" has become our worst nightmare. A fat, lazy billionaire who's sucking up all the oxygen. It's time to put him on an "austerity program".

Re:Well no shit (1)

Xeleema (453073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409686)

What city is this land of (nearly) free, you speak of? I must find this part of the U.S.A. before it's stamped-out by the Feds. I pay $5 for someone to park my car, after I drive it there, first! Surely this land of "movies that cost as much as the DVD-R they're burned on" and "happy pizza with special topping" is somewhere within the confines of my beloved United States! (Or Canada)

Re:Well no shit (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410170)

The average person in Cambodia earns one dollar a day. Some kids collect scrape metal and if they collect $0.25 worth of them, they can go to school the next day (they are not only happy about it, but work to get to school!). Do you really think they're going to spend it on entertainment than costs more than they make in a month?

It's true that prices have to be adjusted to the local economy. And, that does raise some problems when you're selling for cheap in third-world countries, since it creates an incentive for "entrepreneurs" to buy in third-world countries and resell in first-world countries (where they can sell it for more), but your choice of examples is poor. Afterall, people who collect $0.25 a day in earnings probably don't have the money to buy the TVs, Stereos, and computers that are prerequisites for pirated goods in the first place.

Information wants to be free. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408966)

More accurately, *I* want information to be free.
So why charge for music, film, books, software, etc?

Re:Information wants to be free. (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409136)

More accurately, *I* want information to be free.
So why charge for music, film, books, software, etc?

Go ahead and produce some content that others would want and tell us what you think it's worth ("free" being the lowest and "Charlie Sheen's salary" being the high end).

Re:Information wants to be free. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409600)

Just because something is free, doesn't mean that someone won't give you something for it. Ask any busker. The key is that it is not up to the artist/author/musician/actor to determine how much something is worth. It is up to the consumer.

Re:Information wants to be free. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409912)

Is it up to the consumer?

What if instead of singing and hoping you'll pay something between $0 and $infinity, the busker puts up a sign and says "choose your song for $1".

The price is no longer up to you, and he doesn't have to do any work if you don't want to pay the price.

Why charge for music, film, books, software ? (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409724)

because some people need to make money on what they built on things created from accumulated knowledge of mankind.

see, you take freely from public - anything - then put something on top of it, and then demand stuff from the public for your addition.

and suddenly, because you just added a small piece of crap COMPARED TO what you have built that on (start from fire and end it with electricity), you end up fulfilled your obligation to the public, and just and fair in your demands.

that is despite if, you had to actually pay for what you were taking back from public, you would have to work for hundreds of lifetimes to even come close.

but its ok to take freely and not give freely. ironically, you will see that same thing in the right-wing mindset of the fiscal conservatives ; they make use of ANYthing in public domain exceedingly freely, but, they start demanding a lot of things in return while trying to hold everything off from the public.

Re:Why charge for music, film, books, software ? (2)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410350)

because some people need to make money on what they built on things created from accumulated knowledge of mankind.

see, you take freely from public - anything - then put something on top of it, and then demand stuff from the public for your addition.

and suddenly, because you just added a small piece of crap COMPARED TO what you have built that on (start from fire and end it with electricity), you end up fulfilled your obligation to the public, and just and fair in your demands.

that is despite if, you had to actually pay for what you were taking back from public, you would have to work for hundreds of lifetimes to even come close.

but its ok to take freely and not give freely. ironically, you will see that same thing in the right-wing mindset of the fiscal conservatives ; they make use of ANYthing in public domain exceedingly freely, but, they start demanding a lot of things in return while trying to hold everything off from the public.

Dumb rant.
"and then demand stuff from the public for your addition"
We aren't "demanding" anything, it's being offered in the free market. This isn't some TAX situation where you're forced to pay money, regardless of whether you like it. It's a situation where you pay if you want it, don't pay if you don't want it.

More importantly, if you're going to be logically consistent in your argument, then:
* Open-Source has no right to demand anything from users (demanding that they roll their changes back into the code, attaching source-code, etc) - is just unwarranted demands. Who are they to build on human knowledge, but then make demands on us for adding this or that little tidbit?
* Doctors have no right to charge money for their services since their profession is based on centuries of accumulated knowledge that they could never have acquired on their own.
* Farmers have no right to charge money for their food since it's built on millenia of plant and animal breeding. If you've ever seen some of the natural versions of these plants, you'd know that most of our crops and animals are close to being completely inedible. Thus, they're benefiting from millenia of human work, but they charge us - the human beings, from which they draw their knowledge - money!
* There are lots and lots of other examples - from construction to metallurgy to writing to literally *everything* human beings do - here we are benefiting from centuries or millenia of accumulated human knowledge where we get paid.

Re:Information wants to be free. (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409888)

If you want free information, you're free to produce your own.

Otherwise, act like an adult and compensate others for their effort.

DAMN ITALY AND ITS BUGATTIS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408968)

I'm just gonna go steal me one. For my own use you understand. The guy's insurance will cover it nicely. Win-Win! And yes, the germans stole that, too!

Re:DAMN ITALY AND ITS BUGATTIS !! (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410158)

Sorry, troll, but you are quite free to COPY that Bugatti for yourself if you do not sell the copy.

Means-tested pricing (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408992)

I am pretty sure that at least in some cases drug companies (not exactly the least greedy companies around) charge less for things like AIDS medications in developing countries than they do in the US.

Perhaps software developers could consider something like that...?

Re:Means-tested pricing (2)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409016)

Like Region codes for DVDs... Everybody loved those! It doesn't seem fair to pay more "because you can."

Re:Means-tested pricing (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409428)

This is the result of our economics clashing with a reality of information: a free-market economy (and through more hidden means all other kinds of economies) determines price based on a supply-demand curve. A supply-demand curve shows the number of willing purchasers and amount of supply at a given price, and is used to help determine the point on the curve where the most *profit* (not sales) can be made.

The problem is that information, or anything that can be entirely represented as information, has what is essentially in infinite supply at no marginal cost. This COMPLETELY flattens a supply-demand curve into a right-angle "L" shaped graph, where you are essentially paying for packaging and method/ease of delivery (like in the iTunes story for instance with apps).

Because of these things, the information industries do not use supply at all to determine price. They look at only two factors: what people are willing to pay (the demand side of the supply-demand curve), and the cost of producing the information.

Unfortunately for the information sellers of the world, this method of determining price is only effective in an economically homogeneous zone, and for information, all "zones" are artificial constructs limited only by technology compatibilities (which are tied to artificial DRM and to local legislation) and by language barriers (which can often be broken through community assisted efforts).

Essentially, this screws the entire developing world out of high quality "legal" information economies, and in some sense is a self-feeding cycle that perpetuates its own existence.

Re:Means-tested pricing (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410520)

" It doesn't seem fair to pay more "because you can.""

So who should pay? Obviously game developers can't live on $1 a game, so if games were $1 everywhere there would no longer be any multi-million dollar games like Starcraft II. How many billions would Microsoft lose if Windows and Office all sold for $1? Would anyone bother learning programming knowing that you can't make a living?

Re:Means-tested pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409102)

Even in the US - some drug companies have programs for those with chronic illnesses
I know there are programs fpr immunosuppression drugs for transplant recipients that are based on a range of assets/means/criteria run by the drug companies themselves.

Re:Means-tested pricing (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409926)

That's because they got sued and/or indicted for gouging.

Re:Means-tested pricing (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409154)

I am pretty sure that at least in some cases drug companies (not exactly the least greedy companies around) charge less for things like AIDS medications in developing countries than they do in the US.

More likely they lobby the government to pay some sort of compensation, and sue their way into keeping local labs or universities from making generics. They are certainly the most disgustingly greedy companies out there. Pay or die.

Re:Means-tested pricing (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409518)

Yes, there is some price differentiation going on with pharmaceutical products and other IP-heavy goods... however, it's not as much as you might think. A large part of the problem has to do with high income inequality in many developing countries. This has the perverse effect of actually making it more profitable to sell to a tiny sliver of the wealthy elite, than to sell in large volumes at lower prices. For more on this, see Flynn, Sean, Aidan Hollis, and Mike Palmedo. “Economic Justification for Open Access to Essential Medicine Patents in Developing Countries, An.” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 37 (2009): 185.

Re:Means-tested pricing (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409862)

It's particularly bad for medications which have little to know market in the developed world. Sometimes governments of poorer nations will threaten to dissolve the companies IP rights if they don't lower the cost. Sometimes it works, but often it doesn't because a lot of the time the companies don't have to be working on medications to solve those problems, there's poor profitability and they aren't under any sort of legal requirement to sell medications at a loss.

Antibiotics tend to be in a similar situation, they cost a lot to develop, they don't really last very long and at the end of the day they likely wouldn't be working on it at all if they didn't need the PR.

Sounds like Used Textbook Argument (1)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409000)

It's true... The market will only bear a certain price. Apple made their songs 99cents (to begin with), and broke through most of the barriers to online music sales. People can only afford so much. At some point they may resort to theft to get what they want; the rate at which they do so is also influenced by the ease with which the theft can occur.Much less risky to pirate software then to steal a car, for instance...

Obvious much? (-1, Troll)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409014)

I bet shoplifting is driven by high prices as well.
The worst part is someone got paid for 3 years to study this.

Re:Obvious much? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409128)

The worst part is someone got paid for 3 years to study this.

Why disparage the successful con?

Re:Obvious much? (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409194)

Because I didn't get paid for 3 years to study this.

Re:Obvious much? (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409250)

Why call it a con? We need MORE studies like this to refute the baldfaced lies of the BSA, RIAA and MPAA. Those clowns pull numbers out of their ass and everyone treats it like gospel. Some actual facts are a useful counter.

Re:Obvious much? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409396)

More studies saying the same thing are redundant at best. Usually they're nothing more than a way of employing somebody's useless, drunken brother in law so the old lady will give it up. And hammering on people with boring facts does little to uproot their beliefs, sometimes just the opposite happens, as various (also redundant) studies have shown :-)

Re:Obvious much? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409648)

Some of us are paid to do non-bullshit research. The more people who get paid to study obvious things, the harder it is to convince anyone to fund non-obvious research.

Re:Obvious much? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410088)

Some of us are paid to do non-bullshit research.

And the good stuff is guarded behind a paywall, leaving us with this nauseatingly redundant political punditry at its worst.

Re:Obvious much? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409190)

The worst part is someone got paid for 3 years to study this.

Hmmm ... maybe I'll see if a grant is available to study how these kinds of studies get funded.

LOL (4, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409030)

NO SHIT? Someone has been reading my posts on slashdot? THIS is what I've been saying for YEARS, good God! Just look at my rant posts, I must have said that about 5 times at least.

I'm NOT paying half my monthly salary for a PS3 or XBOX game. Same way as I'm not paying $10-$20 for a movie ticket. That's why movie tickets in my country cost $3-$5 and people go to the movies, while very few don't pirate games. Charge me something I can pay, and I gladly will. Be a jerk and try to charge me twice or 4x as much as the US price and I won't buy it (PS3/XBOX 360 cost USD 800 here. Taxes are not the reason). For me a $100 game is like expecting the average american to pay $500 for a PS3 game. Ain't gonna happen.

Re:LOL (1)

cforciea (1926392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409158)

In the city where I grew up here in the US, you can still see movies in a mainstream theater for like $5 at night and $3-$4 for a matinee. It sounds like you are getting ripped off for your movies, as well.

Re:LOL (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409272)

Those are Thursday-Sunday prices. Monday-Wednesday is $1,50 or so -- last time I checked. $5 even includes 3D glasses for 3D movies.

Re:LOL (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409854)

Count yourself lucky - the "cheap theaters" have been ruthlessly squeezed out of my town over the years - I think the cheapest I can get into a movie now is $5, and that's if I drive out of town to the place they reno'ed from an old supermarket.

Of course, it doesn't help that the average home theater systems are more than sufficient for all but the latest special effects blockbuster.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409564)

NO SHIT? Someone has been reading my posts on slashdot? THIS is what I've been saying for YEARS, good God! Just look at my rant posts, I must have said that about 5 times at least.

The fact that you're freaking out so much over this, and that you seem to think you're the only one here to have stated that opinion, and that you seem to think you're the first person to have EVER stated that opinion, and that we should somehow care that YOU said it, amuses me to no end.

Re:LOL (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409606)

Dont' feel bad, even the us prices are fucking outrageous. No video game is worth more than $20, absolute ceiling, even with inflation. Plenty of publishers have been very successful doing this because everyone buys their games. It's just old dumbass publishers who charge high and expect people to pay it.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35410080)

OK, let's play a little game. You tell me some item/service that is "worth" $25 in your worldview and then I'll tell you a video game that I'd rather have instead of your good/service. That will prove that that game is worth more than $20. QED.

Re:LOL (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409850)

You don't even need to look at different countries as a sample study. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where movies were 7 USD and you could choose any seat you wanted in the theatre since that few of people went. I moved to an affluent suburb of Washington DC where the cost of living was 30% higher and the average family income was 300% higher and the movies were consistently packed. I'd also throw in a tidbit about quality of the movie theatres too - the ones in DC were nice because they made enough money to maintain it while the ones in Pittsburgh were run down. Its a viscious cycle since nobody wants to pay money to go to a crumby theatre.

Re:LOL (1)

jlechem (613317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410208)

This is so true. In Utah we used to have a wide variety of local theaters. They slowly closed as the megapexes came in. But you know what, I like a nice clean megaplex with nice seats. I refuse to go to some run down shit hole. Brewvies is the only exception here and that's because they serve beer. So yeah tickets cost 7.75 but it's worth it for some quality and cleanliness.

and it offices it's cheap PHB that drive it there (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409046)

and it offices it's cheap PHB's that drive it there some times.

Study finds store raises prices...because its more (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409078)

more in news.... people like low prices... because its less.

Piracy Driven By Low Incomes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409104)

Developing countries fail to command the wealth necessary to afford the tools and entertainment enjoyed by prosperous Westerners.

Spin is fun.

but not Canada... (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409120)

Wait, we're a low income country?!?

Or are they just being nice to Canada?

Yo Grark

Re:but not Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409426)

>Or are they just being nice to Canada?

it is already paid for in the extra "fees" Canada has for downloaded music ect. :)

Re:but not Canada... (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409874)

I was wondering about that myself - big reason why I snagged a (free) copy was to see if they explain why. Of course, I'll probably see it used as "proof" that Canada is a haven for piracy or some such nonsense next week...

Re:but not Canada... (1)

Tragek (772040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410290)

I'm curious, did you come to a conclusion? I'd download it myself, but we seem to have overrun their goodwill for the moment.

Re:but not Canada... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410344)

Depending on where you live in Canada, yes we are actually low-income especially when you figure that between 30-52% of your wages are gone in taxes. On the EC this is very apparent especially with the lack of any solid industry of any kind. In Ontario/Quebec it's hit or miss. Out west less so, but the cost of goods is unbelievably high(whooo $4/loaf of bread, $9-15 for a gallon of milk). You're looking at somewhere between 42k and 52k as the median wage. And 25% of our population lives at or below the poverty line with income(about 30k).

Dollar parity aside right now, ~25 years of keeping our dollar below parity with the US worked well for us. Not so much now.

"High income countries?" (2)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409130)

US$8 for non-commercial use in high-income countries—a list that for the present purposes includes the USA, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, Israel, Singapore, and several of the Persian Gulf States (Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Brunei, and Bahrain), but not Canada.

I don't understand why Canada merits special favor, when her per-capita income is higher than most of Western Europe, Japan, Israel, and Japan. [wikipedia.org]

Piracy In Developed Countries Driven By 'Giggles'? (1)

FlapHappy (937803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409178)

Or not. Other than one point in the article (Competition is good), the reasons people pirate are largely the same.

Easy choice (2)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409196)

In developing countries the average cost of life is lower, but the average income is much lower. Where I live, Windows plus Office costs 2-3 average salaries. How can they seriously expect anyone to pay?
Even those who can afford it find it morally unacceptable to waste so much money on software. You can get it for free and donate the money.

High prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409204)

If you know that the average income in the country my wife comes from is about 250 euro/month (~300 USD) I understand why people there would pirate instead of buying full price.

Except.. (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409208)

...nothing will ever beat the price of FREE.

Re:Except.. (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409438)

That's not true. I have a comic book shop. My customers usually read the comic (mostly japanese manga) online and several months later, when it's finally released here, they buy it. And they're not exactly cheap either!

Re:Except.. (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409552)

Wrong. The price of free is too often beat by the prices of "I am used to this" and "I am afraid to learn new stuff". That's why people who would be perfectly served by Free software cling to Windows and MS-Office nonetheless.

Re:Except.. (1)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409762)

...nothing will ever beat the price of FREE.

Not true. Price is only one item in a list of variables that consumers use to make decisions. To quote Mike Masnick, "Saying you can't compete with free is saying you can't compete".

Re:Except.. (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409904)

... but people have and will pay what they perceive as "fair value" for things. That's how so many small-scale productions stay afloat.

Canada (2)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409232)

I like how the report is available for free to "Low Income Countries" like Canada.

I'm Shocked!! (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409256)

They needed three years to reach this conclusion? The purchasing power parity of the dollar to the rupee is about 10:1. Meaning 10 rupees in India is around 1 USD in terms of what one can buy with it. If you charge me the same USD value (multiply by 45) in India, you're bloody insane if you think I'm going to shell out that much!

I remember seeing a store selling a copy of Windows Vista for Rs. 14,000. That's like asking the average american to pay $1,400. Any takers? Didn't think so.

Re:I'm Shocked!! (2)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409628)

To be fair, the report has much more than just the info about prices... I just had to condense something down for the summary. There's also a lot of information about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the various IP and anti-piracy "education" (propaganda) attempts, empirical data on the failure of enforcement activities to make any dent in piracy, and findings about what does in fact drive prices down to more affordable levels (competition from domestic creative industries). There are six detailed country studies involving local researchers, etc.

Re:I'm Shocked!! (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409734)

Fair enough.

Valve (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409268)

Valve discovered that if they release more translations of a game on the day of release instead of delaying for a few months, piracy drops and legit purchases go up. Turns out game crackers translate the games too.

Re:Valve (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409548)

a few other explanations for that besides just the crackers translating it, picking a language at random lets say spanish. Game releases in english, spanish version 2 months later Game isn't in stores in spain. Spanish player who knows some wants the game but it isn't availible in stores, pirates the game to guess his way through the menus to play the game 2 months early. Possibly justifying it by saying he will buy the spanish version when it comes out, but has already tired of the game by then and forgets. Or hell maybe he even does buy it, the way piracy statistics are tracked every pirated game is counted as a lost sale, and every purchase is considered a new customer.

Ah... it's a profit deal (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409298)

It is truly a shock to find out that piracy is a for-profit venture. I thought those people just had a lot of blank media that they hated to see go to waste.

What's next, I suppose all those politicians and salesmen weren't just telling what I wanted to hear and corporations aren't strictly altruistic ventures.

software 'piracy' is driven by what for US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409392)

just the love of entertainment/productivity no doubt. some are staying home from work (it's gas or the looking glass?) so they can avoid stealing the latest releases. everybody knows 'artists' & their (before anybody else) distributors/pimps, are supposed to have unlimited resources, right? we're ok, so long as we know the rules? phreaking 'developing' countries? who needs 'em, if their making the records more expensive because they're so poor. sheesh.

missed the point (4, Insightful)

bugi (8479) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409400)

The point is to generate high piracy rates, in order to generate the PR necessary to give pet legislators an excuse to do their "friends" a favor by passing yet more draconian legislation, allowing heavier and heavier locks, they hope defeating fair-use activities such as time shifting, format shifting and unlicensed commentary.

The organizations crying over the exploding piracy figures know full well the real score.

Re:missed the point (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409766)

Problem is, Brazil and Russia are not owned by american corporations.

Re:missed the point (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410182)

The point is to generate high piracy rates, in order to generate the PR necessary to give pet legislators an excuse to do their "friends" a favor by passing yet more draconian legislation, allowing heavier and heavier locks, they hope defeating fair-use activities such as time shifting, format shifting and unlicensed commentary.

1. We've already established that "heavier locks" don't really work when you have to give the end user the key
2. High piracy rates generate a culture of piracy that has shown itself to be nearly impossible to break

All the legislation in the Western World won't do anything to kill piracy in regions like Eastern Europe, Asian, and Africa.

Pretty Obvious (1)

sltd (1182933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409416)

In Peru, there's pretty much no market for "original" CD's or DVD's. No one wants to pay full price for a movie, when there's people in every marketplace selling movies for $1.50. I knew someone who made a living selling burned DVD's - he got them from a place called Polvos Azules, practically for free. There's a place called Wilson that builds custom computers with cheap components. They preload Windows XP SP2 and loads of software that costs a lot in the US. A lot of people have PS2's and get them modded to be able to play "pirated" games and DVD's. You won't find shrink wrapped anything there. Everyone either knows how to circumvent the anti-piracy measures, or knows someone who does it for cheap.

Personally, I would rather see people in Peru encouraged to develop their own media. Instead of being reliant on the US for software and stuff, they could write their own solutions. In a nationalistic country like every one in South America, it would be easier for the people to support developers in their own country. I'd like to see them put their resourcefulness into writing new code. It would certainly be interesting.

That isn't "piracy". (5, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409522)

'For those who must have it for free anyway, you probably know where to look.'"

Piracy doesn't get you something for free. Piracy is when someone makes unauthorized duplicates of something which they don't own the copyright for with the intention of selling it for a profit. Piracy is the guy on the street in New York who is trying to sell you a movie that is still in the theaters for $20 on DVD or is trying to sell you a copy of some software for $5.

Stop perpetuating the misuse of these words. Piracy, copyright infringement, plagiarism, and forgery are all different things. Playing a scene-ripped copy of a game or movie is not piracy. That doesn't justify it if you do it, but it's not piracy.

Re:That isn't "piracy". (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409990)

It was piracy when someone gave it to you, though, right? (By the colloquial meaning, not the seagoing-assault one)

Re:That isn't "piracy". (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410000)

That isn't piracy.

Piracy is when a syphilitic sailor plunders legitimate commerce in a region of the sea, terrorizing and looting ships, murdering their captains, and taking wenches and boys prisoner.

This stuff is white-collar IP infringement, and calling it piracy is just demonizing it to make political inroads into putting more public resources towards stopping what is, in most cases, barely a misdemeanor.

Fine, so long as they don't use low prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409530)

to then enable them to under-cut people in other markets.

Ages ago, I was on a mailing list for an illustration program --- a participant in a country w/ very low wages complained that he couldn't afford the software, so a copy was made available to him at a price he could afford --- immediately after that, the guy was trying to drum up business outside of his market, under-cutting other illustrators.

Uh... not just "developing countries" (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409598)

I can build an entire computer for less that what Windows 7 costs.

Re:Uh... not just "developing countries" (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410062)

Then use Ubuntu.

I can no longer think of a single reason to have Windows on any computer I build. And it's getting about time to build a new one (last one was balls-out enough that it's still a fast mover and slicker'n goose-shit over 3 years later, but cracks are starting to show in its compatibility, upgradeability, and reliability). I can't remember the last time I went to Excel instead of Google Docs.

By xmas I expect I'll have bolted up a new head, and I doubt this time I'll automatically choose Microsoft's task scheduler to run on it.

MS had to reduce prices of Vista (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409662)

I remember reading about how MS had to reduce prices of Vista in developing countries like China so it would be affordable.

Re:MS had to reduce prices of Vista (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409878)

Yeah, but they didn't reduce the price.

They came up with the stupid "Windows Starter" version, that's the only affordable version and this is shipping like cancer on OEMs.

Way to treat your consumers, MS. Of course it gets home a 'technician' installs pirated regular Windows. Of course MS is ok with this, they got the money.

As for the conclusion, color me shocked. Everybody said correctly.

3B3K is fastest growing digital marketplace (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409690)

Of the 6.5 billion people on earth, approximately 3 billion (3B) live in nations earning 3K per year (USA by comparison earns $46k per person). Those emerging nations, since 2000, have gotten online at 10x the rate of growth of Europe and USA. [http://tinyurl.com/3B3K-next] Full price is not an option, and enforcing privacy laws simply stops their growth as consumer markets. In response to Vance Packard's complaints about "planned obsolescence" (The Waste Makers, 1960), Ford Motor Co. responded that teenagers learn to drive on "good enough" cars and the sooner they learn to drive, the sooner they will buy a car, and the more cars they will buy in a lifetime. The AGMA (Anti Gray Market Alliance) should take a page from Ford's response and see piracy as the baby steps of tomorrows consumer.

Orly? (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409876)

Wait, you mean to say that it took 3 years to figure out that people pirate because shit costs too much? Uh, DDDDDUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH

Wrong DVD Region Codes Are A Problem Too (3, Interesting)

cpghost (719344) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409894)

The artificial division of the world in DVD regions is also one major reason for piracy. Take for example North Africa: officially, it is in DVD region 5, but culturally AND economically, with all their ties to Europe, they get all their DVDs from Europe, a.k.a. region 2; legally or pirated, if need be. If the players you have there are all region 2 (and almost all of them are, because they're getting them from Europe), there's no point in buying a region 5 DVD there.

Re:Wrong DVD Region Codes Are A Problem Too (1)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410366)

Same thing happens in Latin America where we are region 4 but there are stores that sells legal titles in region 1/US. But in general people buy pirated movies in any case. A regular salary in Venezuela is about Bs. 1600, if you want to buy a legal DVD that will cost you around Bs. 150, a pirated one is Bs. 20. And everything electronics related is more expensive than in the US, you kind of see the problem. I believe one thing this report is missing and that is true from Argentina to Mexico is that there isn't affordable housing, so people have to either: -Rely on living with their families. -Renting a room and share bathrooms and fridge space with some other people but everything coordinated by an old landlady that most of the time lives in the same house. -Or renting something like a basement, which is pushing it a bit. -Get married and pretty much use one person's salary for rent and the other for expenses. That is IF you can find something cheap enough while you get a government-backed credit to buy your own house in one of the remote suburbs. If you can afford a 1 bedroom apartment for your own, everybody understand that either your family bought the apartment for you, or that your family in general has money and pays it for you. Unless you start working for the very best companies in the market, it is very hard to actually do it yourself. Following the case of Venezuela, in the capital Caracas, you can pay 1500 for a room, or something like 7000 or 8000 for an apartment monthly. A programmer or engineer can earn around Bs 3000 or maybe 4000 while there are still a lot of people getting Bs. 1600, so it's not hard to see why there are many shacks around cities.

Companies with "perfect" DRM going under? (2)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409966)

One of the truisms of the software industry I've always heard is that publishers promote and tolerate a certain baseline amount of software piracy to win mindshare and gain experienced users.

Is there any history of companies that manage to implement a very difficult to crack DRM (eg, dongles, etc) going under or fairing poorly? In other words, once the software becomes too difficult to pirate, the vendor ultimately loses legitimate sales -- hard to evaluate the product, difficult to find experienced users, etc?

I'm sure it's difficult to say "for sure, DRM made them go under" but it would be interesting to see if that kind of thing has happened.

Good Examples (1)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409968)

A few numbers in Mexico (right south of the USA...):

Minimum wage: 50ish pesos a day for 8 hours, which is around 4usd.
Average income for a family: 7,000 pesos a month, which is 500usd. (Source: Inegi, in spanish)

Price for a new hollywood release for DVD: 200-300 pesos
Price for an old movie DVD: 100 - 150 pesos
Price for a new popular album: 150-250 pesos
Price for old albums: 100-150 pesos
Price for a New PC game: 600-800 pesos
Price for a New Console game: 800-1200 pesos

Funny thing: there are still a few retail stores trying to sell Age of Empires III with the expansions for 800 pesos... geez.

(A little off-topic, but a new Best Seller book is around 300 pesos. An older or non-best-seller book from a decent editorial house is 150-250 pesos. There are cheap-ass books to be found, but usually from non-copyrighted authors (loooong dead) and with the most horrible translations ever.)

Re:Good Examples (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410084)

And yet the guy who owns their cell-phone company is one of the richest men in the world.

Nothing new (2)

Stonan (202408) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410098)

In the early 80s the Commie 64 was targeted for kids. After you convinced your parents to spend $300-$400 on what they considered a toy, you then had to convince them to spend another $50-$60 for a piece of software.The best way to describe the result was 'fat chance'.

Hacking/copying was the only way most kids could get ANYTHING for the 64. I admit I was heavily into this. Not so much the hacking as the copying and distributing. This was the time when hackers were seen as the Robin Hoods of the early home computer age. Of course this has changed and hackers are seen in a different light now but where they came from hasn't: corporations want way too much money for the product they produce.

In the late 90s I worked a contract for Electronic Arts. During that time I could buy software that was going for $90 in the stores for $10 from the internal EA store. I know some of the $90 price is retail markup but not all.

At least EA puts out software that works unlike the MS business model of double-gouging: pay thru the nose for crap software then do it again when the 'upgrade' (corrections & fixes) are released.

Corporations, and thier owner are the real pirates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35410212)

Overly affluent people have so corrupted the free marketplace and the public domain that they no longer really exist. There's no longer any real justice in America. Indeed, this corruption of our government and businesses is one of the worst forms of evil. The real criminals are living in mansions and own both political parties. People are stupid if the think they live in a fair and free world.

In soviet russia.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35410216)

Game pirates you!

Price Does Not Matter!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35410502)

The only reason pirated copies of software, DVDs, CDs, etc. continue to be sold in third world countries is because copyright laws are not be enforced. If companies want this money they must enforce the anti-piracy laws themselves as the local governments do not care.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>